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The year 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Marx’s CAPITAL, still the best theoretical foundation for understanding and uprooting capitalism. In recent years, opposition to the unbridled rule of capital has come to the fore in various ways, from Occupy, to the Sanders campaign, to the environmental movement. Despite their rhetoric, however, these forms of opposition tend to target neoliberalism rather than capitalism itself.  Even the Trump campaign manipulated working class opposition to neoliberal trade pacts to edge out Clinton in the Electoral College and then moved to set up the most billionaire-ridden administration in our history. That a hate-based agenda would lead Trump to victory speaks volumes about our need to understand how racism and other forms of oppression support and sustain capitalist relations.

Marx’s CAPITAL digs deeper than the current opposition to neoliberalism, to theorize both the actual nature of capitalism and what it would mean to overcome it.  While capitalism has certainly evolved, Marx’s theorization of its core characteristics is more valid today than when the book appeared in 1867: The limitless quest for surplus value and profits dehumanizes workers and subjects many to permanent unemployment even as others are forced to work longer and longer hours. The capitalist system produces ever more severe economic crises even as it destroys our environment. It both produces and feeds off racism, misogyny and other forms of oppression. Only a world of free and associated labor that breaks the relentless process of “production for production’s sake” that characterizes capitalism can stop the destruction of human beings and the environment. Only a class-less society can support the development of a new social being that values Marx’s concept of from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.”

Copies of CAPITAL I will be available at a reduced price at the meeting.

Kevin B. Anderson teaches at UC-Santa Barbara. He is has written widely on Marxism, critical theory, and on race and gender, and is the author of MARX AT THE MARGINS: NATIONALISM, ETHNICITY, AND NON-WESTERN SOCIETIES and the coeditor of the ROSA LUXEMBURG READER.


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